One of the amazing performances at the Rainforest World Music Festival 2016, right at the foothill of Mount Santubong in the Malaysian Borneo, was the one by Malaysians Unique Arts Academy – UAA.
Unique Arts Academy is a performing arts academy founded in 1994 in Peninsular Malaysia and recognised by the Ministry of Culture & Arts Malaysia. The group is made up of borderless Malaysian citizens proud of their Indian origins who perform music and dance of the South Indian communities in Malaysia. They bring rich art to their country on stage and at their studios in Negeri Sembilan and Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi, Selangor, in peninsular Malaysia.
Unique Arts Academy offers a variety of courses both in classical dance and in world renowned South Indian classical dance, Bharatha Naattiyam. Besides this, Unique Arts Academy also offers other Malaysian dance forms and musical classes like Contemporary dance, Singing, Traditional dancing – Asli, Malay, Chinese, Indian, Portuguese and various East Malaysian ethnic dances, Hand drums and more.
Their motto is “Brighten all Ages” as their academy accepts students for all range of ages, and their aspiration is to share the traditional art form and culture to the world in order to preserve it for the next generations, as well of course to produce world-recognised artists or icons.
During the years, Unique Arts Academy have repeatedly performed on various stages in shows, temples, concerts, government events and International festivals such as International Folklore Festival, World Harvest Festival and a few other prestigious shows for the Ministry of culture and Arts Malaysia. Unique Arts Academy gained a lot of recognitions and fame when they won the 1st prize in the drum competition organized by Ministry of Youth in 2015.
Unique Arts Academy also joined up to form South Indian Folk Drums band, an Indian folk band that plays various Indian traditional percussions such as the Thappu bass drum, the Kottu, the Chimta, the Urumi with its energetic and vibrant sound, the hand percussions Ganjira and Udukku, as well as traditional bells and harmonium. These produce captivating drum beats, that Unique Arts Academy mixes with the sound of U-bass, bass guitar and keyboard for that additional kick and flavour for the ensemble and for the audience. These booming sounds also provide distinct musical phrases and rhythms, which folk dancers use to give form to their dances. Some of the dancers also act as musicians, dancing to the rhythm of their instrument. In the past, drums were used as a communication mechanism to convey messages to people, and still today, these performances are held at every local festivals and other celebrations of villages of Tamil Nadu, South India.
THESE ARE SOME OF THEIR DANCES
Bharatha Naattiyam: It is the most popular of the Indian classical dance forms in South India, and the most ancient of all the classical Indian dance styles in the entire India.
Semi Classical: The steps and moves of semi-classical dance are not as complex or intricate as pure classical forms. However, the authenticity of the Indian dance form is preserved and students are able to grasp these lighter semi-classical dances easily. Semi-classical dances are fun and fluid
Contemporary Dance: This is a dance performance genre that developed during the mid twentieth century and has since grown to become one of the dominant genres for formally trained dancers throughout the world.
Modern Dance: It encourages dancers to use their emotions and moods to design their own steps and routines. It is not unusual for dancers to invent new steps for their routines, instead of following a structured code of technique, as in ballet.
Back to the Rainforest World Music Festival, Unique Arts Academy captivating performance rocked the Jungle Stage on the first of the three evenings, mesmerising the crown with drum beats and the intricate steps of the dancers.
Unique Arts Academy can be followed on www.uniquearts.org and can be seen on Facebook and Youtube: Unique Arts Academy
Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org